Palliative Care: The Extra Layer of Support

Lung cancer treatment can be stressful. Knowing the benefits of palliative care can help ease that stress.


Speaker 1: Palliative care, sometimes called supportive care, is a key part of lung cancer treatment. This type of care is focused on helping you feel the best you can before, during, and after treatment, and is usually appropriate for all people facing lung cancer, no matter their prognosis. Talk to your doctor about what types of palliative care might be appropriate for you.

What are the benefits of palliative care? Palliative care focuses solely on improving quality of life. It is appropriate to receive this type of care at all stages of your lung cancer journey. It may help you by providing relief from pain and other symptoms of lung cancer. In-depth communication to help you understand your treatment options and establish your treatment goals, and help with communication between you and your other doctors. This might mean providing certain medications and therapies to help you with your symptoms and side effects, counseling to help you cope with the stress of the disease, guidance in treatment decision making, and much more.

Who administers palliative care? Palliative care is provided by a team of palliative care specialists including doctors, nurses, and social workers. While your other doctors and nurses may also help manage your symptoms, only palliative care specialists provide the complex symptom management needed for lung cancer.

How do I get palliative care? The best time to discuss palliative care is at the start of your journey. Ask your oncologist for a palliative care referral, or you can search for a palliative care team at Every patient and caregiver deserves the support that palliative care has to offer. Knowledge is power. By being proactive during your treatment, you put the power in your own hands.

The American Lung Association is solely responsible for content.

Download the worksheet that accompanies this video: Palliative Care Worksheet

Page last updated: March 22, 2020

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